Friday, September 29, 2006

Ensenada, Baja California

I took a trip to Ensenada in Baja California. It is a gray city due to the dry landscape and the moisture from the Pacific Ocean. Inland from Ensenada, however, is a wine growing region with oak trees in the valleys and arroyos. The atmosphere is clear and light.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


While walking up a mountain I see so many spectacular views. Yet, the same views recorded by the camera can be uninteresting. I'm trying to make a photograph that I'll be able to return to and want to "get inside".

This is a shot from North Mountain Park in the heart of North Phoenix.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Magdalena de Kino, Sonora

I just returned from a few days exploring between Nogales and Santa Ana, Sonora, a stretch of about 60 miles. Magdalena, perhaps the most pleasant town here, was founded in 1688 by Father Kino. His skeleton is on view at the bottom of a pit in the central square where it was discovered by investigators.
It was raining a lot and flowers were blossoming in the desert. I photographed these poppies outside of town against stormy sky.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona

Ambos Nogales (Both Nogales'). Perhaps El Greco, the famous Greek/Spanish painter would have felt at home in the Nogales'. The setting reminds me of Toledo in the famous painting, "View of Toledo" The international border fence is notable on the hill in the center of the photo.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hermosillo, Sonora

I spent a day in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state, adjacent to Arizona. It was a pleasant adventure. I was impressed with the gentler life of the city as compared with border towns like Nogales and Tijuana. Hermosillo has quiet parks and plazas in the center. The old city has 100's of historic buildings.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Don Jose y Khacho

Don Jose and Khacho visiting the beach in front of Casa Zen II (Pueblo Solar). Don Jose is the founder of Casa Zen. He arrived in Mazatlan about 16 years ago. Khacho is a buddhist monk in the Kadampa tradition. She has been around Mazatlan for over 20 years and co-owns a restaurant. She is currently living in a Kadampa temple in Tucson, Arizona and visits from time to time.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Coconut Collecting

Friday I went to help out at Pueblo Solar. It´s a branch of Casa Zen being built 5 miles south of Isla Piedra (and Mazatlan). The project is intended to be an energy self sufficient retreat center. Roberto (pictured) and I worked on building a septic hole (fosa septica) for the toilet drainage. After finishing the hole we poured a layer of gravel into it. Then we went to collect dried out coconuts to create the next layer.


Yesterday morning I went over to Casa Zen on Isla Piedra. The easiest way to get there is by small boat. They are called pangas. There was some fog entering from the ocean. Fog is unusual here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tropical Hut Construction

Yesterday we helped build a palapa on Isla Piedra. First we pulled the fiber out of dried coconuts. Next, we mixed it with clay, sand and water. Then we formed balls of it and built walls between the posts of the palapa. It's a slow process.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Maya, Chabela y Che

I went to volunteer some time working at Pueblo Solar, an ecovillage being set up on Isla Piedra. Due to rain and cold we were cancelled. Instead we visited Chabela's Camping, a palapa and cabana rental place next to the beach. It's rustic. Chabela, in the picture, is from Quebec. Her partner is Mexican. Maya, in the front, is one of her children.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chametla Pequeña

Fui ayer a visitar James Adams en Chametla. Se encuentra Chametla una hora al sur de Mazatlan. Este pueblo chico esta festejando sus 475 años este mismo fin de semana. Llegando a Chametla cruzaba yo en coche el rio periferico del pueblo y se atasco mi coche en el barro. Luego de unos minutos de espera me salvo un señor con tractor que me jaló a tierra seca. Por fin a mi destino, Jim me enseño el pueblo presentandome a sus conocidos. Al atardecer, le daba James a Miguel Angel una clase de ingles en el patio atras de su casa rustica y antigua.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Hotel Lerma

I´ve stayed at the Hotel Lerma in Mazatlan many times, but never as long as my current stay. This time of year its busy with tourists from the US and Canada. It seems like at least half of them are from the Pacific Northwest. I, along with a few others, have created an informal spanish conversation club. We´ve been meeting 2 or 3 times a week to share a meal and read and translate an article from Spanish to English or study a grammar problem.
Pater, in the picture, is an Irish fellow, but has been living in Bellingham, Washington for many years.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Isla Piedra

I´ve been taking the ferry over to Isla Piedra. It´s a short ride from Mazatlan in a small boat. The island is rural and has extensive coconut groves, orchards and farms with maiz. There is an informal zen center there next to the ocean. Three people are presently living there and they have meditations a couple of times a day. Here is a link to the website: